Market Report: Laird pays the price for 'overblown' rise

The hype and hullabaloo ahead of Apple's iPhone 5 launch tomorrow has not spread to one of its suppliers – Laird. The company, which started life in 1824 as a shipbuilder in Birkenhead's docks but is now a high-tech electronics company that supplies smart phone makers, tumbled to the bottom of the FTSE 250.

Analysts at Goldman Sachs computed that its share price now looks "increasingly expensive with below-average returns."

Goldman's scribes yesterday downgraded it to sell with a share price target of 210p – down from 235p.

Laird's problem appears to be that the share price rise that followed its half-year results in July now looks overblown.

Laird's exposure to consumer electronics leaves it with a "weak score" in Goldman's eyes. Despite the success of its electromagnetic interference shielding which it sells to smartphone makers, Goldman's experts think its dependency on large consumer electronics and a poor track record of managing cash makes it a sell. Its shares dropped 10.1p to 230.5p.

The FTSE 100 reached 5,800 during the day, but fell again and ended close to where it had started, down 1.6 points to 5,793.2.

Miners led the pack as hopes for further stimulus in China and the US pushed them higher.

The long-awaited Glenstrata merger helped Xstrata, up 12.5p to 1026.5p, while commodities trader Glencore fell 8.05p to 370p after it submitted its revised $36bn (£22bn) takeover bid.

But Australia's mining sector was hit by news that BHP Billiton and Xstrata are cutting high-cost coal production in the country due to weak prices and rising costs. BHP Billiton shed 4p to 1,910p.

Idle traders let old takeover rumours rumble on, and the persistent, but much-doubted speculation that retailer Marks & Spencer could be subject to a takeover bid accompanied a share price rise of 9.9p to 371.1p.

Online gaming group bwin.party regained some of the falls of the previous week and was up 7.5p to 103.7p.

Have the wheels come off at Chariot Oil & Gas?

Question arose yesterday after the Aim-listed, Africa-focused oil and gas group admitted it has found yet another dry well.

Punters in the stock must have strong stomachs – a high-risk strategy has not always paid off.

The group's shares saw almost half of their value disappear in May when the company announced that its Tapir South exploration well off the Namibian coast was dry.

In its latest announcement yesterday, Chariot said its Kabeljou exploration well, its last drilling programme this year, found "no commercial hydrocarbons" and the company has therefore plugged and abandoned it.

Last week the shares slumped when fears about the results at the Kabeljou well emerged. The company was forced to issue a statement to say the results were "not yet known".

Despite the huge setback, Chariot's chief executive Paul Welch, said: "The fact that we encountered source rock within this well is important.

"The Nimrod prospect was our largest target in the south but there are still other areas of interest in this licence.

"We will be discussing these findings and the next steps with our partners, Petrobras and BP, and will update the market with plans in due course."

The company's shares plunged by 66 per cent – down 65.25p to 33p.

Meanwhile, Tullow Oil stumbled on news that it had found gas not oil at a well off the coast of Kenya.

It said the ongoing drilling remains on course to "test for any deeper oil potential within this gas prone region." Its shares lost 18p to 1,386p.

UK Coal gave some guidance on its proposed restructuring yesterday afternoon and its shares moved up 2.58p to 6.58p. It said that its proposed restructuring is on track to be completed by the end of the year.

On Aim, Coal of Africa, a stock that has had vague whispers of bid talk surround it earlier this month, gained 2p to 20p.

The FTSE 100 quarterly review is set for tomorrow. A slowdown in trading in the City of London is to blame for the likely relegation of City broker Icap. Its shares fell by 1.5p to 343.4p ahead of the company's likely demotion to the FTSE 250.

FTSE 100 Risers

Kazakhmys 686.5p (up 29p, 4.41 per cent) The copper miner was boosted by a note from analysts at UBS who raised their share price target to buy, up from sell. Miners have enjoyed a strong run on the back of hopes of further stimulus in China and the US.

Barclays 207.75p (up 1.35p, 0.65 per cent) Broker Investec banked on Barclays and gave the stock a target price of 240p.

FTSE 100 Fallers

Associated British Foods 1,280p (down 26p, 1.99 per cent) Despite a good set of results for retailer Primark, the sugar-to-clothes group was hit by problems at an Australian meat factory and highlighted a £100m non-cash charge for the business.

Unilever 2,245p (down 30p, 1.32 per cent) Broker Nomura expects the consumer goods giant to suffer from rising food prices this year.

FTSE 250 Risers

Spirax Sarco 2,126p (up 91p, 4.47 per cent) Goldman Sachs analysts raised their recommendation of the engineering group to buy, up from neutral, and raised their share price target to 2,510p, up from 2,100p.

Ferrexpo 196.5p (up 13.7p, 7.49 per cent) The iron ore miner was boosted by a note from scribes at UBS who raised their target price for the stock to 410p, up from 370p, and rated it a buy.

FTSE 250 Fallers

Premier Farnell 185.4p (down 5.3p, 2.78 per cent) Analysts at Canaccord Genuity issued a hold rating and gave the electronics supplier a share target price of 225p. Its second-quarter trading update is on Thursday.

Premier Oil 376.9p (down 10.5p, 2.71 per cent) Analysts at Liberum Capital switched their rating from hold to sell for the explorer and gave it a share price target of 320p.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
TV
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Oliver
filmTV chef Jamie Oliver turned down role in The Hobbit
News
The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
peopleDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
tvReview: Top Gear team flee Patagonia as Christmas special reaches its climax in the style of Butch and Sundance
News
people
Sport
Ashley Barnes of Burnley scores their second goal
footballMan City vs Burnley match report
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca alongside Harrison Ford's Han Solo in 'Star Wars'
film
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Man of action: Christian Bale stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Arts and Entertainment
Tracy Emin's 1998 piece 'My Bed' on display at Christie's
artOne expert claims she did not
News
Ernesto Che Guevara and Fidel Castro, right, met at Havana Golf Club in 1962 to mock the game
newsFidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
News
Hackers revealed Oscar-winning actress Lawrence was paid less than her male co-stars in American Hustle
people
Arts and Entertainment
Clueless? Locked-door mysteries are the ultimate manifestation of the cerebral detective story
booksAs a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Sport
Robin van Persie is blocked by Hugo Lloris
footballTottenham vs Manchester United match report
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant- NY- Investment Bank

Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...

Selby Jennings: Quantitative Research | Equity | New York

Not specified: Selby Jennings: Quantitative Research | Global Equity | New Yor...

Selby Jennings: SVP Model Validation

Not specified: Selby Jennings: SVP Model Validation This top tiered investment...

Selby Jennings: Oil Operations

Highly Competitive: Selby Jennings: Our client, a leading European Oil trading...

Day In a Page

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?